You would think that if anyone were to spend $1.5 million on a pet, it would be something exotic or dangerous, or both. It’s not a foreign concept for animal enthusiast (who also happen to be millionaires) to own pets in the likes of tigers or sharks, or in Playboy mogul Hugh Hefner’s case, three species of monkey.
But a coal barron living in Northern China just spent $1.5 million on what is considered the world’s most expensive dog: a red Tibetan Mastiff.
The 180-pound, 11-month-old pooch known as Big Splash, or “Hong Dong” in Mandarin, is big, and bulky and no short of furry. The million-dollar price tag is justified, in some eyes, because the breed is thought to have descended from wolves over 58,000 years ago.
The breed has also become a status symbol in China, replacing cars and bling as a way for the rich to show off their new-found wealth. Red is considered a lucky color in Chinese culture, and Tibetan Mastiffs are thought to be holy animals, bringing riches and good health to its owners.
Big Splash could even make some money later down the line, earning $15,000 a puppy to breed with a female.